Turkana burial mound

Turkana burial mound

This is one of several burial mounds on a raised part of the shoreline just south of Loiyangalani, on the southeast shore of Lake Turkana. The burial of the deceased was rare until relatively recently, when the government made it a law that every corpse should be buried. Prior to this, only important people such as emuron (diviners) and respected elders were buried, their resting places marked by stone cairns. The cairn in the photo is such an example, and is in a superb position on a volcanic outcrop facing Mount Kulal across Loiyangalani Bay. In the opposite direction (not in the photo), there's an equally clear view of South Island. Mount Kulal is commonly believed to be one of the dwelling places of Akuj (god), and like all mountains also has significance in terms of ancestors. Sacrifices to them are made by throwing pieces of the sacrificed animal towards the mountain.

Credit: photo copyright © Jens Finke, 1998.

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